Submitted by Shawn Durr on September 26, 2023 - 17:07

Bridging the Nonprofit Technology Gap: The Keystone Solutions Platform

In today's fast-paced digital world, many nonprofits find themselves challenged by a widening technology gap. In a nonprofit trend report from Salesforce, which tracks global trends from 1,600 nonprofit leaders, 74% of nonprofits reported that digital transformation was a “need-to-have” or “must-have.” These findings reflect a growing recognition among nonprofit organizations that embracing technology is critical to achieving and growing mission impact. 

Despite their awareness that technology adoption is important, most nonprofits are also painfully aware that they lag behind the for-profit sector in accessing and using new technologies. In a survey of technology use by nonprofits conducted by NetChange, only 11% of organizations surveyed felt their approaches to digital were highly effective.  

Keystone Alliance is working on an innovative solution designed to bridge the technology gap nonprofits face, specifically for Illinois agencies serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  

Keystone is a family of three nonprofit organizations that all share a powerful mission: to empower individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live, learn, work and participate fully in their community. Keystone’s partner organizations provide quality services and supports for hundreds of people and families in dozens of communities in the Chicago metro area. Like many nonprofit entities, Keystone’s partner organizations face the challenge of a pronounced technology deficit. To bridge the gap, since 2021 Keystone has collaborated with its partner organizations to meticulously craft and deploy the Keystone Solutions Platform. 

Throughout the life of this project, the support we receive from The Coleman Foundation continues to be pivotal to the ongoing success of this initiative. They understand the problem of technology inequity within the nonprofit sector. With their support Keystone is addressing this problem for its partner organization Glenkirk, PACTT and Search Inc. who were early adopters of the solutions platform. 

Combining premier IT tools, systems, and applications, as well as leveraging Microsoft's robust 365 cloud applications Keystone’s digital solutions platform is making a revolutionary shift from cumbersome paper processes to streamlined automation. The goal is not only to enhance efficiency but also to enable intelligent, data-driven decision-making. 

Microsoft 365 allows Keystone and its partners to use applications and tools familiar to many users and is very cost-effective for nonprofits.  In essence, the Keystone Solutions Platform is both a technological and strategic advancement; it's a testament to the powerful outcomes achieved when innovation synergizes with altruism. 

The transformative potential of the Keystone Solutions Platform doesn't stop at improved operations. By empowering their partner organizations with state-of-the-art technology, they’re laying the foundation for expanded mission impact. By harnessing this technology, Keystone partners will be able to enrich their programs and services, thereby amplifying and accelerating positive change in the communities they serve.  

In essence, the Keystone Solutions Platform is not just a technology overhaul. It beautifully integrates the mission and business sides of a nonprofit emphasizing that when technology meets compassion, remarkable change is achievable.